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Acalypha rhomboidea

Acalypha rhomboidea Raf.

Acalypha virginica L. var. rhomboidea (Raf.) Cooperr.

Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMalpighialesA broad group encompassing 16,000 species
FamilyEuphorbiaceaeEuphorbia or spurge family
GenusAcalyphaCopperleaves or three-seeded mercuries; means “nettle”
Speciesrhomboidea“Diamond-shaped” leaves

About plant names...

Three-seeded mercury is a member of the highly variable Euphorbia family. The genus, Acalypha, is from the Greek akalyphē, meaning “nettle,” because these plants resemble nettles. The species rhomboidea refers to the rhomboid shape of the leaves. Three-seeded mercury refers to the fruits—capsules with three seeds. I have no clue where “mer­cury” comes from though.

Plants: Plants are 6-24" (15-60 cm) tall, with a stem that is hairless or covered with fine white hairs.

Leaves: Alternate, lance-like or oval with sharp tips, 3½" (8.9 cm) × 1" (2.5 cm), with blunt serrations.

Flowers: Greenish-tan, and tiny—less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) across. Although the flowers are inconspicuous, the bracts (modified leaves) surrounding them turn copper-colored, along with the stems and leaf undersides, hence the common name “copperleaf.” Plants flower from July to October.

Fruits: A 3-lobed roughly spherical fruit containing 3 seeds.

 

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

9/27/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm) ID is uncertain

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

9/1/2013 · Trail Near James River, Midlothian, VA
≈ 5 × 8" (12 × 19 cm)

See this article by Steve Brill on distinguishing among nettles and related plants. Here are some similar species:
 
Laportea canadensis

Boehmeria cylindrica
You are here
Acalypha rhomboidea
Common Name

Wood Nettle

False Nettle

Three-seeded Mercury
Plant 24-48" (60-121 cm) high. Stems have stiff white hairs that sting if you rub against them. 4-63" (10-160 cm) high, and favor shady wooded areas. Stems are smooth, without the irritating hairs of stinging nettle. 6-24" (15-60 cm) tall, with a stem that is hairless or covered with fine white hairs. Bracts beneath flowers, stems, and leaf undersides turn copper-colored.
Flowers Male flower clusters are white or greenish white, in loose branching clusters. Each flower is less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) across, with 5 petals. They appear from July to September. Flowers occur on straight spikes that emerge from the stem, in clusters of small, inconspicuous green flowers. Each spike is often tipped by a couple of small leaves. Flowers appear from July to August. Flowers are greenish-tan, and tiny—less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) across. They flower from July to October.
Leaves Alternate, up to 4" (10 cm) × 6" (15 cm), egg-shaped, with coarse serrations. Usually opposite or nearly so. They are roughly egg-shaped, with sharp tips and teeth. (More precisely, they are elliptic, lanceolate to broadly ovate.) The leaves are 1¾-7" (5-18 cm) × ¾-4" (2-10 cm). Leaves are alternate, lance-like or oval with sharp tips, 3½" (8.9 cm) × 1" (2.5 cm), with blunt serrations.
Fruit Oblique dry seeds. Spiky little balls. A 3-lobed roughly spherical fruit containing 3 seeds.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Moist woods, streambanks, in rich soils Moist, deciduous woods; wet meadows; swamps, bogs, and mashes Open woods, moist soils, gravel bars, waste ground, roadsides, railroads.
Type Wild Wild Wild

 

 
Pilea pumila

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis
Common Name

Clearweed

Stinging Nettle
Plant 6-24" (15-60 cm) high, with smooth, round, translucent stems. They do not have stinging hairs. 24-39" (60-100 cm) high, rarely up to twice that. The entire plant is covered in stinging hairs.
Flowers Both male and female flowers are on each plant. Fowers are ⅛" (3.2 mm) long, greenish-white or greenish-yellow, hanging in narrow bunches from the axils of the upper leaves. Plants are monoecious—male staminate flowers appear on the same plants as female pistillate flowers. Male flowers are grayish yellow, with four tepals. Female flowers have four tepals too, but in different-sized pairs. They are gray-green and hairy. The flower clusters resemble catkins.
Leaves Leaves occur in opposite pairs, each 1-5" (2.5-12 cm) long by ½-2½" (1.3-6.3 cm) wide. Leaves are oval-shaped and coarse-toothed, with three prominent veins and textured leaves. The leaves are bright green, usually shiny, and become yellow in the fall. Opposite, oblong, cordate, and serrate (with sawtooth edges). They are 1-6" (3-15 cm) long.
Fruit Tiny green seeds (achenes) sometimes have black stripes. Each inner pair of tepals encloses a single deltoid to ovoid seed.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Wet upland or floodplain forests, crevices in rocky canyons, and shady wetlands, streambanks. River deltas, floodplains, margins of deciduous woodlands, fencerows, and waste places
Type Wild Wild

 

Online References:

Acalypha rhomboidea on Missouriplants.com

Acalypha rhomboidea at Minnesota Wildflowers

Acalypha rhomboidea at Illinois Wildflowers

Acalypha rhomboidea on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Acalypha rhomboidea at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Acalypha rhomboidea at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Acalypha on

References:

Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 416

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

9/27/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

9/1/2013 · Trail Near James River, Midlothian, VA
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm)

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

8/18/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm) ID is uncertain

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

8/18/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

8/18/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Acalypha rhomboidea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2019.

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Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

9/1/2013 · Trail Near James River, Midlothian, VA
≈ 4½ × 6" (12 × 16 cm)

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

8/7/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 4½" (9.4 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

8/18/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm) ID is uncertain

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

9/1/2013 · Trail Near James River, Midlothian, VA
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Acalypha rhomboidea (Three-seeded Mercury, Rhombic Three-seeded Mercury, Rhomboid Mercury, Rhombic Copperleaf)

9/27/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

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